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Marcfirst Celebrates: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month

This month is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month! We want to highlight the experiences and voices of people from this community, specifically of those living with disabilities.


Many of us have noticed the racism and prejudice towards this community in the past few years--unfortunately, it is not a new occurrence. Oftentimes, because some stereotypes about the AAPI community are considered 'positive' traits, the prejudice behind this idea of the 'model minority' is minimized. With this month's blog, we hope to highlight some of the experiences of the AAPI disability community.


Original photo selected from Alice's website.

Overall, there seems to be a lack of representation and inclusion for AAPI folks who also have disabilities. Luckily, activist and author Alice Wong is a fantastic source to learn about these experiences and how we can improve inclusion and accessibility!



Alice describes different types of supports she utilizes, and some common misconceptions about people with disabilities. She also highlights how representations of disability are often biased and rooted in ableism.


The work she has been doing is amazing, and we are excited to see the impact she has on the community! However, there is still much work to be done in order to promote accessibility and showcase the stories of AAPI individuals. We encourage you to check out more of her work, including her book featured below!


Look for these books at Barnes and Noble or Amazon! Some are even free as Ebooks on Amazon.


“Everything Here is Beautiful” by Mira T. Lee tells the story of two Chinese-American sisters, focusing on Lucia’s mental illness and her journey towards self-love.


“Disability Visibility” by Alice Wong is being featured for a second time—her incredible book showcases a collection of essays written by people with disabilities that discuss the impact of identity on experience.


“Fairest: A Memoir” by Meredith Talusan follows a child born with albinism in the Philippines, their journey to the U.S., and their eventual gender transition. This is a great story to highlight the intersections of identity!


“King for a Day” by Rukhsana Khan follows Malik as he celebrates Basant by flying his kite. Learn how he becomes king for a day and learns to adapt to challenges! (4-8 years) 


“Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village” by Sunny Seki takes readers to ancient Japan, where a 'young blind girl' named Yuko-chan adventures to create the Daruma doll as a symbol of resilience! (4-8 years) 


“Silent Days, Silent Dreams” by Allen Say follows artist James Castle and his story being born ‘deaf, mute, autistic, and probably dyslexic’. Learn how he became an iconic artist! (8-12 years) 


“We Move Together” by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire uses colorful illustrations to showcase a variety of experiences such as culture and disabilities, and how accessibility makes a huge difference! (6-9 years) 

About the Author:

Marissa is a graduate student at Illinois State University and has decided to create blogs for Marcfirst in the coming months to build awareness about important topics. Marissa has a background in women’s and gender studies, and uses this to locate high-quality research and understand diverse points of view that she herself can never fully experience. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are Marissa’s and do not necessarily represent the official views of Marcfirst.

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